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Chief Inspector of Hospitals publishes his findings on Solent NHS Trust

5 June 2014

England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals has published his first report on the quality of care provided by Solent NHS Trust.

The trust, which serves more than a million people in Southampton, Portsmouth and other parts of Hampshire, was one of the first specialist providers of community and mental health services to be inspected under CQC's new approach to inspections.

Overall the report concludes that the trust provides safe and effective services, and its staff treated patients with compassion, kindness, dignity and respect. Inspectors found that services were accessible and responsive to the needs for patients, although in some areas community services were stretched and struggled to meet demand.

An inspection team which included CQC inspectors and analysts, doctors, nurses, social workers, Mental Health Act commissioners, psychologists, patient experts by experience, other specialists and senior managers, spent four days during March this year visiting St James' Hospital, St Mary's Hospital, Western Community Hospital, the Royal South Hants Hospital and Jubilee House as well as health centres, clinics and community services.

The inspectors found areas of good practice which included:

  • The children's outreach assessment and support team (COAST) provides an excellent level of care and support to babies and young children at home with acute illnesses.
  • The homeless healthcare team provides excellent multi-disciplinary services to homeless people in Southampton, working closely with GPs and other providers to enable people without an address to arrange appointments for secondary health care.
  • The specialist community palliative care team run an innovative clinic called Key Transitions which enables patients to attend through GP identification or by self referral.

Inspectors said that the trust must improve in a number of areas:

  • People were at risk of being turned away from sexual health services because of the demand for services. There could be long waiting times for walk-in clinics which were sometimes cancelled if the required number of trained staff were not available.
  • The trust must review the layout of the Kite Unit, a specialist brain injury unit at St James' Hospital, Portsmouth, to ensure that it complies with guidance on segregating male and female patients, and on managing risks from fixtures and fittings which could be used as ligature points.
  • The trust must ensure the caseloads of each adult mental health community team are supported by enough skilled and experienced staff including consultant psychiatrists.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: "Solent NHS Trust provides a wide range of essential health services to a large population in Hampshire; we found a highly committed and caring workforce that was, for the most part, meeting the needs of all those people safely and effectively.

"Patients were overwhelmingly positive about the quality of the service, and at a time when our hospitals are under so much pressure - it is worth recording that we found trust staff working together very well across various disciplines to help avoid unnecessary hospital admissions by providing services close to people's homes.


For media enquiries, call the CQC press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours or out of hours on 07917 232143. For general enquiries, call 03000 616161.

Last updated:
30 May 2017

Notes to editors

Solent NHS Trust is a specialist provider of community and mental health services. It serves a population of more than a million people living in Southampton, Portsmouth and other parts of Hampshire and provides community and mental health services from more than 120 locations.

The Care Quality Commission has already presented its findings to a local Quality Summit, including NHS commissioners, providers, regulators and other public bodies. The purpose of the Quality Summit is to develop a plan of action and recommendations based on the inspection team's findings.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.